acyrlic-pour-earrings-necklace-kristen-hanafin

Acrylic Pour Magic — Brother & Sister Create

acyrlic-pour-earrings-necklace-kristen-hanafin

Colors shift and change with the light in Kristen Hanafin’s acrylic pour jewelry.

As anyone with a sibling knows, brothers and sisters agree on some things, and don’t on others. That’s the magic of family.

For acrylic pour painters Kristen Hanafin and Matt Harri, they work separately — she in her College Place studio and he in his Walla Walla one — but are constantly sharing ideas back and forth. The media itself is fascinating, employing a wide variety of techniques that invites experimentation.

“A major benefit of pours which also relates to its challenges is the versatility,” Hanafin says. “It is really only limited by your imagination.”

acrylic-pour-painting-matt-harri

Colors ebb and flow with fluidity and grace in Matt Harri’s abstract acrylic pours, such as Blue Yellow Green.

Hanafin had been interested in acrylic pour for years. It wasn’t until her brother mentioned that he was doing it, however, that she jumped into it herself.

“I invited myself over for a lesson and was instantly hooked!”

She got into making jewelry shortly after, as a means of expanding the variety of ways pour painting can be expressed.

“The jewelry making is extra special because I recycle the leftover paint from canvas pours, so there is less waste, which is something I always try to be conscious of.”

No End to Creativity

What to make is almost as unlimited as how to make it. Hanafin creates earrings, bracelets, and necklaces in acrylic pour, along with key chains, hair pins, book marks, note cards, and notebooks. Meanwhile, her brother plays with sparkle and shine in his acrylic pour paintings, some of which use white space as part of the design, while others completely cover with paint. There is a sense of fluidity and movement, a burst of color that ebbs and flows through the substrate.

And though the images are abstract, the human imagination is quick to do what it does best: imagine. One image looks like a planet in outer space, another like waves on the seashore. In still another, there is a sense of clouds in the sky.

In addition to sharing an interest in the same artistic medium, the siblings also share another important element: they are nephew and niece to Ed Harri, the late co-owner of Wenaha Gallery, and Pat, his wife and current owner.

“Ed loved color and creativity,” Pat says. “He found acrylic pour to be a unique and unusual expression of both. He would have been pleased to see Matt and Kristen’s work at the gallery, and I am pleased for him — and them.”

Wenaha GalleryKristen Hanafin and Matt Harri are the featured Art Event at Wenaha Gallery from June 8 through June 27, 2020.

Contact the gallery, located at 219 East Main Street, Dayton, WA, by phone at 509.382.2124 or e-mail art@wenaha.com. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Saturday, and by appointment. Visit the Wenaha Gallery website online at www.wenaha.com.

 

 

victorian woman gracious cathedral heidi presse

Stay Gracious — Victorian by Heidi Presse

victorian woman gracious cathedral heidi presse

She moves with gracious confidence, straight but not stiff, elegant but not affected. Victorian, limited edition print by Heidi Presse.

All mothers have their standard admonitions, words of wisdom aimed at our kids. When the kids are grown (into decent adults, we hope) they laugh about what Mom always said. But once they have their own kids they stop laughing because they realize — suddenly, one day — that they’re repeating their own unique, peculiar-to-them phrases.

My own mother’s favorite was, “That is a piece of equipment, not a toy.” I can’t imagine what she would think about cell phones.

Mine was, “Be gracious.”

In other words, stop sniping and biting at your siblings. Quit nitpicking. Control the eye roll. Don’t be so loud, obnoxious, rude, overbearing, arrogant, and irritating. Don’t call your sibling stupid simply because you don’t agree with them. Comport yourself with some level of dignity and decorum, courtesy and composure. Act with some loyalty toward one another, because that’s what families do.

It’s all beautifully encapsulated in two words: Be gracious.

Calm, Stately, Serene

A perfect visual of this concept of being gracious is Victorian, the limited edition print by Heidi Presse. A young woman walks, stately and serene, into a San Jose Mission church. It is no doubt a hot day, but she maintains a sense of cool composure, a measured tread that takes her where she wants to go without pushing, pulling, shoving, or foisting herself upon the situation. There is a calm serenity about her movements that inspires calm in those who see her.

A mother, say, would observe that she is setting a good example, inspiring those around her to be calm and serene themselves, not frantic or fearful, bossy or demanding, judgmental or contentious. In the act of being gracious, she is bestowing grace wherever she goes.

Stay Gracious — We’ve Got Enough Rudeness on Social Media Alone

Wenaha GalleryThe featured image to this article is Victorian by Heidi Presse. You may purchase the print online at this link. We would be absolutely delighted to frame the work for you, working online and by phone — something we have been doing successfully for many years with out out-of-town clients. Email us at Wenaha.com to start the conversation.

More works by Heidi Presse are at this link.

If this post has encouraged you, please pass it on.

child sledding helpful father nostalgic harvey print art

Stay Helpful — A Child’s Hero by G. Harvey

child sledding helpful father nostalgic harvey print art

It doesn’t take billions of dollars to be helpful and carry a child’s sled uphill. It does, however, take a level of caring and time. A Child’s Hero, limited edition print by G. Harvey.

You don’t have to be a wealthy philanthropist to be helpful. Indeed, it’s questionable how many of them actually are. Helpful, that is.

“They’re so rich,” people sigh. “And they must be smart, because they make so much money. Not only that, but they give it away!”

Most of us, ordinary people, feel small in the face of the millions and billions of dollars, funneled through tax-free foundations, that wealthy philanthropists pour into their chosen venues. But the world is made up of ordinary people, the kind who understand other ordinary people, and the small things we do are bigger than we think.

Anyone who doesn’t know how to change a flat tire on the side of a remote highway knows that a helpful hand, at just the right time, makes an impact that is lasting, memorable, and meaningful.

Indeed, the degree and scope of helpful things we can do is vast, and our creativity — unlike our wallets — cannot be exhausted as we find ways to do acts of kindness for other human beings. In some ways, it puts money into perspective when we realize how many of these acts of kindness, how many helpful actions, do not require billion dollar foundations.

The Value of Time

In the artwork, A Child’s Hero by G. Harvey, a little boy is spending the day outdoors in the cold winter air, sledding. Long before he is ready to quit, he tires, his small body unable to keep up with the physical exertion of dragging the heavy sled uphill.

To his rescue comes, who else? His father (parents: you are the everyday, totally unrecognized heroes). Bigger, stronger, and caring, the father does the heavy work, traipsing down the hill that his son glides over, ready to pick up the rope for another trek uphill. As they walk together, he and his children, they talk, and the day becomes much, much more than sledding.

What did it cost to be helpful like this? Time, and the willingness to care.

Stay Helpful — It Adds Richness to Life

Wenaha GalleryThe featured image to this article is A Child’s Hero by G. Harvey. You may purchase the print online at this link. We would be absolutely delighted to frame the work for you, working online and by phone — something we have been doing successfully for many years with out out-of-town clients. Email us at Wenaha.com to start the conversation.

More works by G. Harvey are at this link.

If this post has encouraged you, please pass it on.

love letter communicating laramie charles wysocki

Stay Communicating: Love Letter from Laramie by Charles Wysocki

love letter communicating laramie charles wysocki

Next to a face to face conversation, a good long letter is an excellent — and private — way to communicate. Love Letter from Laramie by Charles Wysocki

Communicating with one another is essential to healthy, strong relationships.

And while this seems so painfully obvious that it’s not worth mentioning, it is worth mentioning. Because, like eating food that truly nourishes, getting out for a walk, and turning off the TV, it’s one of those things we’d be better off doing, but don’t often enough actually do.

“Oh, I keep in touch with all my friends and family by texting and posting on social media,” some say. “I’m too busy to do anything else.”

But digital chatter, as many are increasingly learning, has little to do with strengthening relationships. Communicating via social media is like sitting, tete a tete, near the nosy neighbor’s fence, trying to have a private conversation. She butts in too much, scolding us for what we say, insisting that we acquiesce to what she believes. And she’s not beyond blocking our conversation completely, for our own good and that of society, of course. Such  (community) standards she has!

Charles Wysocki’s artwork, Love Letter from Laramie, reminds us that, when we can’t see the people we love, be with the people we love, interact face to face, close and personal, with the people in our lives who matter, we stay communicating by staying creative and interactive. A young woman in the wild, inhospitable west stops everything she’s doing to read the letter from the one she loves. These are words for her eyes alone, thoughts shared between two people that do not need to be, nor should be, filtered through an algorithm.

Meaningful communication requires not only time, effort, and persistence, but also — most importantly — privacy.

Stay Communicating — It’s How We Stay Strong

Wenaha GalleryThe featured image to this article is Love Letter from Laramie by Charles Wysocki. You may purchase the print online at this link. We would be absolutely delighted to frame the work for you, working online and by phone — something we have been doing successfully for many years with out out-of-town clients. Email us at Wenaha.com to start the conversation.

More works by Charles Wysocki are at this link.

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mother child gardening teaching family mike capser art print

Stay Teaching: Learning to Grow by Michael Capser

mother child gardening teaching family mike capser art print

Teachable moments are rarely planned. They happen as we spend time together. Learning to Grow, art print by Michael Capser.

While teaching is a profession, and a noble one,  it is not limited to a job.

Those of us who are fortunate remember a beloved math teacher who showed us the fool-proof way to figure out percentages; the English instructor who solved that whole “me and him” or “he and I” dilemma. But some of our finest and best teachers, and our first ones, are members of our family: our parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, grandparents. These are the people who have the strongest, most lasting and vested interest in the child.

Teaching is something that happens day by day, moment by moment, as adults interact with children, or even other adults.  We teach by example, by word, by listening, by caring. Some of the things we teach are concrete: how to plant a flower, how to knead dough and recognize when to stop, how to drive a car (every parent’s favorite). Other things we teach are social or ethical: saying please and thank you, recognizing how our tone affects our words, doing chores with the intent of doing them right.

And a more abstract teaching involves character: dignity, respect, honesty, compassion, kindness, understanding, goodness. These are not something we pick up from reading a book and answering a series of questions afterwards. These are elements we absorb as we live around people who are absorbing them themselves.

Quiet, Yet Dynamic, Teaching

Learning to Grow, Michael Capser’s artwork celebrating innocence and warmth, shows dynamic teaching in action. Side by side, mother and child transplant flowers. The woman leans easily into the task, the child squats down in the way young children so effortlessly do and “helps.” Part of the teaching is recognizing, which wise adults do, that little ones have little hands, short attention spans, and enormous quantities of imagination. The task itself is less important than the time together.

This type of teaching does not require an academic degree. But it most definitely requires a degree of caring.

Stay Teaching — You Have Much to Give

Wenaha GalleryThe featured image to this article is Learning to Grow by Michael Capser. You may purchase the print online at this link. We would be absolutely delighted to frame the work for you, working online and by phone — something we have been doing successfully for many years with out out-of-town clients. Email us at Wenaha.com to start the conversation.

More works by Michael Capser are available online at this link.

If this post has encouraged you, please pass it on.

 

Evening Companions harmonious dogs sleeping john weiss

Stay Harmonious: Evening Companions by John Weiss

Evening Companions harmonious dogs sleeping john weiss

After a long day of being productive and busy, it’s comforting to be in company with those we love and trust. Evening Companions, fine art print by John Weiss.

People, and animals, who spend a lot of time together tend to achieve harmonious understanding in their relationship.

It’s not that they always agree. Indeed, if we all agreed, 100% of the time, on everything, that would be odd, not to say boring. It’s wise to be wary when we’re told that a particular view is one upon which everyone agrees. And anyone who doesn’t is dumb. Or subversive. Or dangerous. Or uneducated. Or just plain wrong.

This attitude of judgment is the total opposite of harmonious. It squelches intelligent dialogue and the ability to establish meaningful relationships.

Meaningful relationships, which are the best kind to have, require trust, respect, and the willingness to give and take as we share our thoughts and beliefs (which, remember, do not agree 100%) with one another. Such relationships take time, as well as maturity on the part of each member. They flourish in close and regular contact, with face to face communication being the best, and most private, way to interact. There’s a reason why loyalty runs in families.

Harmonious Together

The artwork, Evening Companions by John Weiss, shows two close companions at the end of the day — simply being comfortable with one another. They don’t look the same. They’re not the same color. One is larger than the other, but this does not mean that it dominates. It is highly likely that some time during the day, even multiple times, they will disagree, may even snap at one another. But the snapping cannot be too harsh or abrasive, because if it were, they would not be so close, so harmonious in their friendship.

When we take time to listen to one another respectfully, and then, if necessary, respectfully disagree, we make more friends than we do enemies.

Stay Harmonious with One Another

Wenaha GalleryThe featured image to this article is Evening Companions by John Weiss. You may purchase the print online at this link. We would be absolutely delighted to frame the work for you, working online and by phone — something we have been doing successfully for many years with out out-of-town clients. Email us at Wenaha.com to start the conversation.

More works by John Weiss are at this link.

If this post has encouraged you, please pass it on.

 

 

Stay Talking: Courtyard by William Phillips

courtyard couple talking courting summer romance william phillips

What better way to spend a sleepy summer evening than sitting by the gentle pond, together, dreaming and daydreaming and planning and talking? Courtyard, limited edition print, framed, by William Phillips.

Talking.

Conversing.

Interacting, one human with another.

There’s just no replacement for these activities. Letters are nice, although fewer people take time to write them anymore. Outside of wartime censorship, there is a modicum of privacy with a heartfelt letter that allows the writers to share their thoughts.

Nowadays, however, we’re told that letters and cards are out of date, replaced by texting, posting, and digital chatting on social media. Increasingly, we’re encouraged to look at these as replacements for human to human, face to face talking as well.

Substitution for the Real Thing

But what a sad substitution for meaningful, and effective, conversation. Most of us have received a text in which we’ve uttered, “Huh? Is the writer mad or something?” that no emoji can counteract. Similarly, many people have posted a comment on social media, trying to genuinely express their thoughts — which differ from “popular,” approved public opinion — only to be excoriated online. It doesn’t take many interactions like these to recognize the extreme limitations of phone texting and social media postings as a means of true, honest, safe communication.

And Smart Phones? It’s funny how many times people talk to them, saying, “Do you hear me, whoever’s listening out there?” Except when it’s not funny.

The artwork, Courtyard by William Phillips, shows a means of communicating that transcends all technology because it is timeless. A young couple enjoys a sleepy summer evening by the quiet waters of a pond. Sitting side by side in the grass, neither one is looking at their phone, thumbs twiddling. Rather, they are talking.

What about? We don’t know. Because they are sitting close enough together to speak in low voices, they are able to keep their conversation private. Any trolls would be relegated to a distant bridge, where they could battle it out with the largest billy goat.

Talking. There’s just nothing like it.

Stay Talking

Wenaha GalleryThe featured image to this article is Courtyard by William Phillips. You may purchase the print online at this link. We would be absolutely delighted to frame the work for you, working online and by phone — something we have been doing successfully for many years with out out-of-town clients. Email us at Wenaha.com to start the conversation.

More works by William Phillips are at this link.

If this post has encouraged you, please pass it on.

 

lavender light sun flowers heidi presse art

Stay in the Light: Lavender by Heidi Presse

lavender light sun flowers heidi presse art

It is a clear, sunny day outside, and the flowers reach up toward the light. Lavender, limited edition print by Heidi Presse.

In a dark place, where shadows reign, it is hard to see. Cockroaches and rats delight in such an environment, and those who don’t want to share their home with these pests do their best to bring light and air and space into confined, closed places.

Light, especially sunlight, is a golden treasure that no money can buy. And without light — especially sunlight — no money has worth. Light has a value that is priceless.

The artwork, Lavender by Heidi Presse, invites the viewer into a place of beauty and light, aromatic with the scent of blooming, purple flowers. The air is fresh. A mother and child, perhaps an older sister and younger one, stroll through the hedge rows, gathering blossoms in their baskets. There is a feeling of goodness, of rightness, of calm and peace, as the two women walk under the sun and feel the breeze on their faces.

There are no cockroaches and rats here, because this is not where they thrive. Under the light, which exposes all to its scrutiny, people are free to live and laugh, converse and sing, communicate and be together, enjoy the goodness and beauty that life — under light — offers.

Stay in the Light Where You Can See

Wenaha GalleryThe featured image to this article is Lavender by Heidi Presse. You may purchase the print online at this link. We would be absolutely delighted to frame the work for you, working online and by phone — something we have been doing successfully for many years with out out-of-town clients. Email us at Wenaha.com to start the conversation.

More works by Heidi Presse are available at this link.

If this post has encouraged you, please pass it on.

 

 

tender moments couple close hugging snow john weiss romantic art

Stay Close — Tender Moments by John Weiss

tender moments couple close hugging snow john weiss romantic art

Some moments are so close, private, beautiful, and intimate, that they require physical touching. Tender Moments, limited edition giclee canvas, framed, by John Weiss.

Human beings need to touch and feel and be close. The interesting thing about the word, “feelings,” is that it is not limited to what goes on in our mind. As warm, gregarious, social beings, we crave also the actual touching of one another: being close physically strengthens the bonds of feeling close emotionally and spiritually.

This is a vitally important fact to never, ever forget.

There may be times when we cannot physically hold hands, lean into one another, stand close enough to speak — tete a tete  (intimately and privately) and sotto voce (too softly to be overheard by strangers) — but if such times do exist, they need to be brought quickly to a close. There is a strange illusion that communicating via phone text or social media post is an adequate replacement for physical closeness, but this is exactly that, a strange illusion.

The artwork, Tender Moments by John Weiss, is aptly named. The memorable moments, the ones which settle into our heart and create a space of warm comfort and joy, are frequently the quiet, “ordinary” ones. A couple stands close together in a snowstorm, side by side and leaning into one another, doing nothing more than enjoying each other’s presence. The family dog leans in as well. This is a moment of trust and peace, of intimacy and warmth. These elements are crucial to human relationships, and without them, we risk losing the very essence of our humanity.

Stay Close and Connected

Wenaha GalleryThe featured image to this article is Tender Moments by John Weiss. You may purchase the print online at this link. We would be absolutely delighted to frame the work for you, working online and by phone — something we have been doing successfully for many years with out out-of-town clients. Email us at Wenaha.com to start the conversation.

More works by John Weiss are at this link.

If this post has encouraged you, please pass it on.

juicy peach child toddler curious nostalgic innocence morgan weistling

Stay Curious: Juicy Peach by Morgan Weistling

juicy peach child toddler curious nostalgic innocence morgan weistling

Looking, touching, feeling, wondering — before she even tastes the peach the curious child explores everything about it. Juicy Peach, limited edition giclee canvas, by Morgan Weistling.

One of the most bothersome things that people do when they grow up is — no longer wildly curious — they give up asking questions.

After all, asking questions is what children do, to the point that they drive adults nuts sometimes:

“Why is this?”

“What does this mean?”

“If a lion and a shark got in a fight, who would win?”

Children are curious, indomitably so, and it is through this curiosity that they learn about the world in which they live. A child who does not ask questions, while they may be delightfully complacent and quiet, settled in front of the TV, is a dull child. And, as an adult, they will be disturbingly easy to fool and manipulate.

Morgan Weistling’s artwork, Juicy Peach, shows a child in the throes of curiosity. The peach is not something to be mindlessly consumed as she leans over the sink, thinking of something else. (Indeed, as adults reading that last sentence, our first curious question would be, “But most little children aren’t tall enough to stand over the sink in the first place, are they?”)

No, she must touch the peach, turn it over in her hands (which will ensure that no one else will want it after her), smell it. She fully immerses herself in the joy and delight of eating a peach.

Stay curious. Stay asking questions. It is through asking questions and seeking answers that children grow into interesting, creative adults.

Stay Curious and Asking Questions

Wenaha GalleryThe featured image to this article is Juicy Peach by Morgan Weistling.  You may purchase the print online at this link. We would be absolutely delighted to frame the work for you, working online and by phone — something we have been doing successfully for many years with out out-of-town clients. Email us at Wenaha.com to start the conversation.

More works by Morgan Weistling are at this link.

If this post has encouraged you, please pass it on.